The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne

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When her best friend, Hannah, comes out as gay, Daisy decides to make her a new “cause”. Daisy joins her school’s alliance group and begins brainstorming ways to make Hannah’s coming out as supportive as possible. First item on the list is changing a school rule that students cannot bring same sex dates to school dances. Met with resistance by the school board, Daisy and the alliance group begin planning counterattacks. But, to Daisy’s surprise, Hannah doesn’t seem to be that interested in Daisy’s efforts. What’s more, Hannah is dating Daisy’s arch-nemesis, a girl who has made Daisy’s life miserable since grade school. Somehow, Daisy must come to terms with the tumultuous changes in her life, save the school dance, and win her best friend back.

This is, hands down, the best book I’ve read in a while. Other reviews will tell you that Daisy is hard to read because she’s awful. While that opinion is not untrue (Daisy is selfish and flawed), I’m impressed with the character growth that happens with her by the end of the book. And, even if you hate Daisy, the other characters more than make up for her flaws. With the strong cast and super relevant issues, this book gives you a lot to think about. The plot, though predictable, is entertaining and engaging. I was constantly reading to find out what happened! While this may not be the most “academically weighty” book you will read, it’s certainly a great one, and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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The final Infernal Devices installment finds the Shadowhunters of the London Institute once again up against the automaton forces of Mortmain. This time, Mortmain is closer than ever to achieving his demonic plans, for he finally has Tessa in his grasp. While Jem and Will scramble to rescue Tessa from her kidnapper, Charlotte struggles to keep control of the Institute. What follows are simultaneous races against time: Jem’s against his mounting addiction, Will’s mad search for Tessa, and Charlotte’s battle of wits and reason with the Consul. In this epic finale, the Shadowhunters must prevail, or face annihilation.

Wow! What an ending! I’ve always liked this series because it is part Shadowhunters and part historical fiction, and the ending really wraps everything up nicely. I especially liked how this book picked up speed right away and never slowed down. If you loved the Mortal Instruments series, make sure to give this one a try — but I don’t advise reading this one first. For thoughts about my feelings on the love triangle ending, check out the full analysis ;-).

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

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The lengthy finale to the Mortal Instruments series pits Clary and the gang in a final battle against their ultimate nemesis, Sebastian. Armed with the Infernal Cup, Sebastian has created a demon race of Turned Shadowhunters — all bent on destroying the Nephilim. Sebastian’s trick is a clever one, as the Shadowhunters hesitate to completely obliterate their Turned brethren, resulting in a dilemma that may end the Nephilim (and human) race. Clary et al. must find a way to stop Sebastian and (FINALLY) bring peace to the lives of Nephilim, Downworlders, and humans alike.

While I appreciate that Clare took her time wrapping things up, this book is SO LONG. I felt a little discouraged when I had reached over 200 pages and felt like I hadn’t even made a dent in the book. But, it was worth it. There are some super creative twists in this one, and Clare does a nice job of leaving things open for the companion series, Dark Artifices. I have to say, I’m pretty excited to see where Lady Midnight goes after finishing this series. So many possibilities!

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

 

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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The fifth book of Clare’s Mortal Instruments series find Jace and and Sebastian irrevocably bound to each other, much to Clary and co.’s misery. Though the Clave has promised to find Jace, other matters arise and the intensity surrounding Jace’s search is lessened. Unsatisfied, Clary (unsurprisingly) sets out to find Jace on her own. Meanwhile, the rest of the Lightwoods, Frays, etc. frantically search for a weapon that will sever the bond between Jace and Sebastian without killing Jace. While it seems that there will be no way to separate the two, Clary learns more about Sebastian’s demonic plans and must find a way to save Jace, get back to her family, and stop Sebastian before the Nephilim world is forever changed.

Wow! So much better than the fourth book. The Jace/Sebastian drama is intense, and I loved how the author thought to pair the good guy with the bad guy instead of just putting them at constant odds with each other. Very unique. I also thought some good points were raised about the health of the Jace/Clary relationship. Maybe not popular points, but points worth talking about. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the conclusion.

Rating: 4/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

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At just 17, Darcy Patel has written a novel and secured a book deal. Now the only problem is convincing her parents to let her move to New York and write for a year instead of going to college. In New York, Darcy is nearly lost in the city and the world of writing, desperately trying to find her inspiration and write the next of the three novels she promised. Along with Darcy’s story, readers also get to read Darcy’s book, the story of Lizzie, her brush with death, and her romance with a mysterious death god.

I was surprised that I liked this book, but I did! The organization is extremely unique, but it may be a bit confusing when you first start reading. Keep going, though, because things really start to pick up as the book progresses. This book is interesting because you get realistic fiction drama with Darcy in New York and fantasy/supernatural drama and suspense when you read Darcy’s book. Pick this book up if you’re looking for a new and different read!

Rating: 4/5 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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In the sequel to City of Bones, Clary is adjusting to her new life as a shadowhunter. Now that she’s learned some of the secrets of her family history, some relationships have changed irrevocably. In fact, life has changed for all shadowhunters. Jace must convince the Clave that, though he is Valentine’s son, he is not loyal to his father. Simon, as always, wrestles with his feelings for Clary as well as his role in her new existence. And, all the while, Valentine hides in seclusion, plotting and planning his next attempt on the Clave. Once again, it is up to Clary, Jace, and the other shadowhunters to anticipate his next move and to stop him — all while outrunning the Clave’s inquisitor.

Another great book in the Mortal Instruments series! I have to say that the Jace/Clary pairing still freaks me out after this book, but I’m hoping there’s some stuff about their family history readers still don’t know. Other than that, this book has tons of action, lots of twists, and is an entertaining read from start to finish. If you liked the first book, definitely keep reading!

Rating: 4/5 

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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Typical southern belle, Harper Price, has the perfect life. She’s involved in almost everything in school, has the perfect boyfriend, and is homecoming queen. All that changes, though, when Harper interrupts an intense battle between two teachers at her school. When one teacher is killed, he transfers his powers to Harper. Harper becomes the paladin (protector) of an ancient order, and now possesses ninja fighting skills. Now, instead of cotillion practice and shopping, Harper’s life consists of battle training and trying to hide her new life from her perfect boyfriend and best friend. She must find a way out of this new existence, before she loses everything she cares about.

I really didn’t think I was going to like this book. I had zero connection with the main character — she was all about makeup, clothes, and being the most popular girl. BUT, as the book progresses, she completely transforms. Not only did I end up loving Harper, but there’s a ton of action in the story, and a pretty cool plot twist at the end. I’m definitely ready for the next book in the series!

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.